LSU and Texas A&M have both failed to meet preseason expectations this year but the Tigers (7-3, 4-3 SEC) are in worse shape headed into Saturday’s matchup.
The Aggies (8-3, 4-3 SEC) have won three out of their last four games, while LSU has lost three straight, after winning its first seven. Les Miles could already be on his way out but a win Saturday could make the decision a bit more difficult, if the athletic administration is still on the fence.
Here are three keys to snapping a three-game losing streak and securing a LSU victory over Texas A&M:
Shore up the rush defense
LSU has allowed nine rushing touchdowns over its last three games, allowing three rushing TDs in each of those games. If the Tigers allow three or more rushing TDs against Texas A&M, chances are they’re going to lose. LSU is 0-5 in its last fives where it allowed three rushing TDs or more, so shoring up its spotty rush defense is paramount headed into Saturday.
Give Leonard Fournette the ball, a lot
Last year Leonard Fournette racked up 146 yards rushing against the Aggies and the Tigers should go for a repeat performance Saturday. If Fournette doesn’t touch the ball at least 30 times, Miles isn’t giving his team the best chance to win. Texas A&M is ranked No. 105 in rushing yards allowed per game (202.5) and LSU should take full advantage of that.
If this is Miles’ final game with the Tigers, he should go down swinging and no one packs a bigger punch on offense than No. 7.
Establish the run and use play action
Texas A&M’s pass defense is stout, allowing just 168.4 passing yards per game, good enough for No. 8 in the nation. Brandon Harris racking up over 300 yards passing against the Aggies like he did last week against No. 18 Ole Miss is far from likely. If he throws the ball 51 times, LSU will lose its fourth game in a row, guaranteed.
When LSU and Texas A&M kickoff at 7:30 p.m. EST Saturday, establishing the run should be a priority. Once that happens and the Aggies predictably stack the box, the Tigers should use the play action pass to produce the big plays that have been missing over the last three weeks.